Follow-up – how to make the most of a 25 minute meeting

After posting that I like meeting entrepreneurs on Tuesdays and only for 25 minutes, someone asked me to write a follow up on how they could make the most of those 25 minutes.

Here are some thoughts on how to make 25 minutes work best:

  • Know the 3 things you want to get across – are you there to learn something, to ask for specific advice, for money? A short meeting makes it OK to ask a bold question straight away.
  • State the following at the beginning of the meeting, “OK, we have 25 minutes – here’s what I’d like to talk about…”
  • The 5 minutes between meetings can be used to email any initial links/thoughts/feedback. Keeping to time or even finishing early will allow whoever you’re meeting to follow up immediately with anything they promised – don’t stop them from doing this by going over 25.

The 25 minute meeting serves a number of purposes:

  • It forces both sides to focus – if you’re 5 minutes late and talk about the weather for another 5 then there’s on 15 minutes left to get down to business.
  • Both sides become more selective of who they meet – it’s easy to justify crossing town for an hour’s meeting, but 25 minutes? Do you really want to do that? (Although the thing is it’s better to cross town for a 25 minute meeting either way).
  • You will rarely forget a rapid, 25 minute meeting – we’re all encouraged to build our networks and rightly so, but the more unusual meeting times, places and people will stand out.

The truth is that the length of the meeting is not the critical thing here, we just seem to have been drawn into the convention of holding meetings for 1 hour. What’s important is the success, however it’s measured, is a result of how both sides handle themselves before, during and afterwards.